Outdoor Living Spaces

How to Build an Outdoor Pizza Oven

Add a wood-fire pizza oven to your outdoor kitchen. Learn how to create the base and install it with our step-by-step DIY guide.

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Assemble the Pizza Oven

Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for a complete and correct installation of the your oven. Our oven came in several pieces with all the materials needed to put it together. The following are installation instructions as per our oven’s manufacturer:

1. First do a dry installation of the unit, including the arch. Center the oven on the slab making an outline of the oven with pencil or chalk. Remove the oven elements.

2. Open the bucket of refractory grout. Save the water on top of it by pouring it into another container. Transfer the grout into a larger container for easy mixing (a trough or a 5-gallon bucket should do). Slowly add the liquid until the grout is the consistency of creamy peanut butter. There will be water left over, save it so that you can pour it back over the remaining grout before you store it.

3. All the bottom (floor) elements are installed with the smooth side up and should be level because this is your cooking surface. Start with the small rectangular floor element in front of the oven. Put three individual globs of grout on the underside of each tile, set and tap the piece level. If the tile is not level, then pull it up and add more grout, tapping the tile until level. Install the other tiles in the same manner. Let the tiles sit for an hour before continuing. This will allow the tiles firm up thus preventing any accidental shifting. Return the remaining grout to its bucket, adding the extra water that you saved on top, replace the lid and keep in a cool, dry place.

4. Put as much grout as you’re comfortable with in a pastry bag and grout the tile, grouting only the seams between the tiles. The grouted seams should be depressed enough so that when you will run a pizza peel or casserole across the oven floor it will not bump against the grout and possibly chip it.

5. The dome pieces interlock snugly and need only a minimal amount of grout. Grout only the female groove on the dome elements with about a 3/8-inch bead of grout. Do not grout the dome elements to the floor elements or to the refractory pad. Start by placing the male dome element (support it) then the female element with the slightly grouted groove. After the dome elements are set, look inside, you will notice a space all the way around where the floor meets the dome walls. Do not fill this space; this space is needed for the expansion of the floor tiles when heated.

6. Apply a strip of refractory grout across the outside seams of the dome. Don’t grout the seams inside the oven.

7. Put a little dab of grout on the bottom and generous amounts on the backside of the arch that touches the oven, set and hold in place. You can face the arch with another material such as stone, granite, tile or brick.

Install the Chimney Flue

The chimney flue consists of two parts: the flue and a smaller connector that is placed on top, smooth side up. This attachment holds the required 6-inch pipe. Put enough grout at the base of the chimney element and the connector to make them level in all directions.

As a finishing touch, contact a mason to give your oven a nice stucco finish. Make sure you wait the recommended amount of time for your oven to completely cure before use, normally about 20 days.

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